I read my first Agatha Christie novel when I was thirteen years old. I don’t remember which one it was, but I do remember that it led me to read another and another.
Like most authors I am a voracious reader. Having worked my way through Agatha Christie’s crime fiction I moved on through other genres, immersing myself for a time in science fiction with John Wyndham and Frank Herbert.
My dad’s laden bookshelves provided me with all I needed. Alastair Mclean took my fancy for a while and then, as I worked my way through ‘O’ and ‘A’ level English Literature, I discovered Thomas Hardy and set myself the challenge of reading every one of his novels and adored them all.
Roll forward many years and I am now writing my own novels and have returned to Agatha Christie for my inspiration. It feels as though I have come full circle.
Earlier this year I achieved a long-held wish when I visited Greenway, Agatha’s much loved holiday home, set above the banks of the River Dart near Dartmouth. I wandered around the house and gardens and imagined how she might have spent her days when she was there.
Many of her experiences found their way into her stories. We know, for example, that the boat house at Greenway was the inspiration for the setting in her novel, Dead Man’s Folly.
It was fun to see The Tapestry Bag sitting on the shelf beside David Suchet, television’s much-loved Hercule Poirot, because of course it is Poirot who inspires Janie Juke – librarian and amateur sleuth – lead character in my Sussex Crime series. Like me, Janie spent her teenage years reading Agatha Christie novels and when she decides to attempt to track down her missing friend, Zara, Janie is grateful for all she has learned from that great detective.
So, Janie and I have a lot in common! If you would like to know more about Janie Juke, the Sussex Crime series and Agatha Christie then you are in the right place!
This blog post is one of a series, which leads up to Agatha Christie’s birthday and national #cozymysteryday on 15th September, as I enjoy the opportunity to be Chindi’s ‘Author of the week’. Chindi is a network of authors, both traditionally and independently published, based largely in West Sussex. Between us we publish a wide range of books, from historical and crime fiction to romance and children’s books, from humour to self-help.
To find out more about the great Queen of Crime and to help celebrate Agatha Christie’s birthday, then look out for the other blog posts in the series:
Agatha Christie – a child of her time https://lexirees.co.uk/mums-book-blast/
Agatha Christie and the sixties https://patriciamosbornewriter.wordpress.com/daily-blog/
What is a cosy mystery? https://www.carol-thomas.co.uk/blog/
The good, the bad and the ugly https://samefacedifferentplace.wordpress.com/
Investigating the past https://rosemarynoble.wordpress.com/
Agatha Christie and Janie Juke https://isabellamuir.wordpress.com/blog/
You can find out more about each of the books in the Sussex Crime Mystery series by following the links below:
BOOK 1: THE TAPESTRY BAG
BOOK 2: LOST PROPERTY
BOOK 3: THE INVISIBLE CASE
My latest novel is: THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN
I would love to hear from you with your thoughts about my stories, about Agatha Christie, or about any of the articles in this week’s series, which focus not just on Agatha, but on life during the sixties and all I have done to research that iconic era.
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